Impressionism After Midnight

Vincent Van Gogh is dead and my rabbit hasn’t eaten his dinner.

I chide him (the rabbit) softly through stinging eyes and a smeared palette of makeup. Winter’s chill dances a slow hoary waltz down my spine but my attention is centered on this small, shivering, utterly belligerent sphere of fur. Blindly I grope around for the clay bowl filled with neglected kale and select one piece for him to inspect and, finally, begin to eat.

Vincent Van Gogh’s stomach bleeds and my rabbit must be forced to eat his dinner.

He (the rabbit) looks at me as he chews the bitter green. As if gauging my will to keep him alive. As if wondering how far I’ll take this whole “mothering” charade when I myself fail to get out of bed on the worst mornings. Yes, you little moron, you have to eat more. You have to take care of yourself. You don’t want to… you know. Do you?

Do you?

He (Van Gogh) was made of beauty. Some say this beauty, this genius, was what destroyed him— a missing ear at the end of a trail of yellow paint. “Deeply troubled” is a favorite phrase. What an amazing lie. Correlation is not causation. His beauty did not kill him. The world’s reaction to this beauty killed him. His beauty is what keeps him alive today.

Vincent Van Gogh has been laid to rest, his pain and his paintings fought over before being reinvented as sensational beauty, and my rabbit has finally eaten all of his dinner. Except those little bits at the bottom, but who cares about those anyway?

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